I’ve spent the last 8 months carrying a knee injury and then the last few weeks recovering from key hole surgery on that knee and it has been an unbelievably frustrating time. The previous 5 years had been relatively injury free and yet I managed to clock up a lot of miles from running and triathlon as well as regular gym sessions.
All of that was pretty much stopped from early February until now, and it was kind of my fault.
I ignored knowledge I had myself. In my defence, this was because I was going through a good phase and absolutely loving training. I was doing three sessions some days. Often you can get away with this, but if you have a weak link in the chain ( this could be just the way you were built or what was most likely in my case, as a result of sheer mileage) the chances of something breaking are massively increased with poor management and poor programming. That’s exactly what I did. I stopped structuring my training week and just started doing whatever I wanted. Some days I would start with heavy squats, then run Three rock mountain, then maybe do another gym session with plyometric jumps. It just made no sense. I was not factoring in the load I was going through or allowing for physical adaptions to take place.
Where am i going with all this you might ask………. This post is about effective programming. It doesn’t matter if you are someone that only exercises just a couple of times a week, or if you are a a top end athlete, effective programming should be at the core of your training.
Looking at the two aforementioned scenarios, lets start with those of you that are trying to get to the gym a few times a week just.
The importance of properly structured programming based on your goals, is so important.
Just jumping from one programme or exercise to another with no real purpose, generally results in one ( or both) of the following :
1) Not reaching your goals – wasting time and money.
2) As was my case, injury – resulting in missing training, regression on your targets, and maybe forking out for physio.
So many people take a positive step for themselves and join a gym, and that’s to be commended, but then they fall in to the trap of just floating around the gym doing what ever exercise pops in to their head, or what ever the other person beside them is doing. You are missing out on so much by not having a structured training plan, most notably, the benefits of progressive overload ( discussed in previous post). Your body will also start to get used to the training, and physical adaptions and fat loss will massively tail off after about 6 weeks and you plateau, i.e, you stop getting solid results. Effective programming is key.
For the athletes out there, lack of or ineffective programming brings a slightly different set of problems.Firstly, your chances of injury increase, as outlined previously.You run the risk of over training and being fatigued and then training suffering as a result.Finally you run the risk of actually being in poor condition when you need to be peaking or a specific time of year.
We all live busy lives and your time should be important to you, so when you train, train smart.